It is what it is

It is what it is.

It’s not what it might have been.

It’s not what it had been.

It isn’t what it could be.

It’s not what it ought to be.

It won’t be what it might have been.

It was what it ought not to have been.

It will be what it ought not to be.

It ought not to be what it is.

It’s surely not what it was.

It can’t ever be what it had been.

It’ll never be what it could have been.

It ought never to have been what it had been.

It was what it was.

It’s not what it was.

It is what it is.

* * *

The Partridge Family

I hate the fact that every Friday night

in 1971 when I was ten

I watched The Partridge Family on TV.

I fell for it.  They travelled in a bus,

that family band, and did “performances”

in Caesar’s Palace or back in the garage.

It was a family show, a lot of cheese,

and so the single mother, Shirley Jones,

would smile and sing but never did get laid.

It would have been the fellow named Kincaid.

He was that iffy dude, their manager,

played by David Madden, who was not

averse to making guest appearances

on Love Boat—let us speak no more of that.

My problem was I actually believed

the Partridge Family played their instruments.

Do you remember David Cassidy?

He looked like he had eaten Vaseline,

but Danny Bonaduce was the worst,

and Danny Partridge, the character he played,

was a little douche bag with a bass guitar,

as charming as a lump of soda bread.

He shuffled around in a psychedelic shirt.

In later life, the actor got involved

with drugs and lived inside a car behind

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for a time.

He was arrested once, in Phoenix, for assault

when he punched out a transvestite prostitute

he’d taken for a girl.  Well whadda ya know?

For Danny Bonaduce, that was real.

For me, the time I wasted Friday nights

watching the Partridge Family play the songs

they couldn’t really play was not ideal.

What good did it do me in the end?

I even used to know the lyrics.  Now

I’d rather drink a beaker full of Fleet

and go to get my colonoscopy

than be reminded of the matching vests,

the tambourine, and Danny’s red guitar,

and how, back then, I thought it fit and meet

that such as these should sing of happiness.